8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 08 October 2009
A Place To Bury Strangers, NYC's loudest rock band (though i'm sure that accolade actually belongs to Sonic Youth) return with their second LP 'Exploding Head'. With their emphasis on "total sonic annihilation" A Place To Bury Strangers have the uncanny ability to nab from the most likely of places (shoegazing rock, goth, 80's synth rock, 80s British psychedelia) and transform those influences into a massive American rock assault.
It's the ability to streamline and simplify these styles that is APTBS' greatest strength as a band and they do it rather well. Single 'In Your Heart' is the best example of this theory in action, taking the best elements of Joy Division and ramping everything up to great effect. The guitars are wildly frantic in a Kevin Shield kinda way, the bass playing is pure hooky, and the drums sound like all machine-like with the added heaviness of them being played by a real human. As well as being obscenely loud they also show a keen ear for melody which is apparent on 'Keep Slipping Away' and 'Losing Feeling', as well as the aforementioned single.
The recording is impressively loud and screechy, especially on 'Ego Death' where we are treated to some super wailing guitars and some intense sonic manipulation. A great record that will appeal to shoe-gazey, gothy types and anyone with a love for both Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine at the same time. Not bad for a major label band yo!
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- Exploding Head by A Place To Bury Strangers
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